Sarah Everard: Body found in Kent woodland identified as that of the 33-year-old York woman

A body found hidden in woodland in Kent has been identified as that of 33-year-old Sarah Everard.

Police have confirmed the body found in a woodland in Kent is that of Sarah Everard

A serving Metropolitan Police officer, who is aged in his 40s, remains in custody on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering the marketing executive and detectives have been granted more time to question him.

Human remains were found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday.

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Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave told reporters outside Scotland Yard on Friday: “The body has now been recovered and a formal identification procedure has been undertaken. I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard.

“Clearly Sarah’s family have been updated with this most distressing news. I just want to pause for a moment and say that my thoughts and prayers, and those of the entire organisation, remain with her and with them at this awful time.”

A forensics team was searching an area of land outside the back fence of the suspect’s house in Deal, Kent, on Friday, while uniformed officers were posted at a derelict garage in Dover, which was run by his family.

Ms Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3.

She is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton – a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes – and was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm.

Her suspected kidnap and murder has prompted anger over the safety of women on the UK’s streets.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “It is devastating news for Sarah Everard’s loved ones that the police have identified her body. My deepest sympathies – and those of all Londoners – are with them.”

On Thursday night, Ms Everard’s family released a statement describing her as a “shining example to us all”, and said she had “brought so much joy to our lives”.

They said: “Our beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime.

“Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.

“We would like to thank our friends and family for all their support during this awful time and we would especially like to thank Sarah’s friends who are working tirelessly to help.”

A woman in her 30s, who was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April, police said.